Our political system is far from perfect, but there are many redeeming qualities to being a citizen in a democratic-republic, and one of the most cherished is the ability to elect representatives who speak for you.
Over the last few years Democrats have demonstrated again and again their distaste for the democratic process as they’ve fought to keep conservatives from passing their agenda by using means outside of the “normal” system.
2011 was a banner year for leftist disruption of the democracy:
- In Washington State a couple of thousand protesters disrupted a special legislative session after the Governor announced that budget cuts would need to be made.
- In Tennessee a small group of protesters similarly disrupted a legislative hearing they were protesting a bill that eliminated teacher’s collective bargaining rights and replaced them with a concept called collaborative conferencing.
- In Wisconsin there were massive demonstrations against Governor Scott Walker and some of the conservative issues that were being pushed by a majority Republican Wisconsin Congress. While I disagree with the reasoning for these protests, I applaud citizen action and peaceful use of free speech (though there were some arrests and examples of illegal behavior). However, the Democrats crossed the line when the 14 Democrat members of the Senate fled the state while the Senate was in session so that a piece of conservative legislation could not be voted on. The left cheered on this miscarriage of democracy, but imagine the indignant rage Republicans would face if they ever tried a similar tactic. The walkout was primarily concerned with collective bargaining rights of public employees. The Democrats did not have the votes to stop the legislation – so they left. Picture what would happen if business was generally handled in this manner. The gridlock in DC that we have now would look like a paradise of efficiency in comparison. It was childish, and worse, it was an offense to the democratic-republican principles our nation is founded upon. The turmoil of this debate led to a recall election of Governor Walker, which he actually won by a greater amount than his original election.
- In Indiana, Democrats took a page out of the Wisconsin handbook and walked out of the legislature to protest a group of bills that they were unlikely to defeat, one of which would make Indiana a “right to work state” and another that would expand the school “voucher” program. The Democrats stayed out for over a month, bringing the governments business to a halt, and only returned when Republicans promised to drop a few of the bills the Democrats disliked.
While these things may seem like simple political ploys, they are so much more… they are truly perversions of the Republican system.
We had another example of this on Tuesday night into Wednesday morning in Texas. A Democrat Senator filibustered for over ten hours, fighting hard to keep legislation that would have severely limited abortion from being voted on, but she came up a few minutes short. When it looked like Republicans would get their vote in, a mob of protesters in the gallery became unruly and made it impossible for the legislators to conduct their business.
I have no problem with a well-timed filibuster; it’s built into the system for very good reasons. I take issue with a small mob of people holding an entire state hostage because they don’t like the way things are going. Instead of a small group of people deciding what is in the best interests of Texas on their own, perhaps these abortion supporters should have organized and campaigned to keep this bill from passing. The reason they didn’t is because they knew they would lose — the majority of Texans want to minimize abortion as much as possible. Abortion advocates don’t have a chance of winning this fight in Texas through legal means.
I guess what all of this means for conservatives is that we should expect for these kind strong-arm tactics to continue. Democrats just don’t care about playing nice. Republicans are always worried about optics because it feels like they are always playing defense against the media. For example, even when the President is being buffeted by scandals, it’s Republicans who need to be “careful”. Only in our bizarre political climate should it be the GOP that needs to be careful because of all of the Democrat scandals… but this is world we live in. Democrats, on the other hand, don’t need to be as “light on their feet” because the media handles them with kid-gloves.
As long as the media keeps its leftward tilt, the Democrats will be happy to continue perverting the democratic process.